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Record-breaking global audience tunes into 2019 UCI road world championships

Published on Monday, 27th January 2020

Northallerton High Street on UCI day

A record-breaking 329 million people in 124 countries tuned in to enjoy the stunning Yorkshire landscapes and world-class bike racing during the 2019 UCI Road World Championships last September.

Global viewing figures increased 31%, up from 250 million the previous year, and the event was broadcast to 24 more countries than in 2018.

In Europe alone, more than 6,500 hours of Championships coverage was beamed to 40 nations, showcasing Yorkshire to hundreds of millions of cycling fans in neighbouring countries. In the UK, every race was shown live on the BBC and there was extensive coverage in key cycling tourism markets like Belgium, Holland and Germany. Globally, the total number of broadcast hours increased 38% year on year, with 7,089 hours covered across the globe.

The Yorkshire event was only the fourth time the UCI Road World Championships have been held in Great Britain, and the first time since 1982. The beautiful spa town of Harrogate was the competition hub and hosted the finishes to all the races, which started in nine different towns and cities across the county.

The celebrations began on Saturday 21 September when - for the very first time - a one-day international para-cycling event took place ahead of the Championships. The Championships commenced the following day with the maiden Team Time Trial Mixed Relay and continued through to Sunday 29 September, with thousands of fans lining the roadside every day despite some extremely wet weather.

Chair of Yorkshire 2019 Chris Pilling said: “These are fantastic figures which far exceed our initial broadcast expectations. We pledged we would showcase Yorkshire to 250 million people across the globe, so to reach 329 million in 124 countries is very satisfying. We delivered an inclusive, innovative and inspiring Championships which I have no doubt will attract new visitors to our beautiful county for many years to come.”

Welcome to Yorkshire Commercial Director Peter Dodd said: “These figures are really impressive and it’s fair to say the eyes of the world were on Yorkshire during those nine days of action. The footage showcased some of the very best scenery we have to offer and we’re sure it will have inspired many people across the globe – cyclists and non-cyclists alike – to come and sample our great county for themselves.”